A complex of apartments in Highbury, North London, Highbury Square was built in the early 20th century. The stadium will be constructed on the old site of the Highbury Stadium, one of Arsenal FC’s home stadiums. The club played at this stadium up until 2006, when they relocated to a newly built stadium close by.
From what can be observed from the site’s history, the former stadium’s pitch and prominent faces remained intact. It originated in Woolwich and was ultimately removed from the site in 1913 in accordance with plans designed by Archibald Leitch. East and West Stands were reconstructed in the mid-twentieth century. The façades of these stands still remain. The venue served as the home to Arsenal for more than three decades, until the Emirates Stadium was opened in 2006 (since when Arsenal plays at Wembley Stadium).
The older buildings of the East and West Stands remain as part of the development in place of the North Bank and Clock End of the stadium. The former soccer field was transformed into a garden. The marble halls, Herbert Chapman’s bust, and the players’ tunnel are an important part of the Arsenal Stadium. The club opened its doors in 2009, when Arsene Wenger was football manager.
By using architecture firm Allies & Morrison, the renovations of the complex have been praised for creating a sense of openness and naturalness, but also provide protection and privacy. MIPIM’s Special Jury award went to Highbury Square in 2009.
Highbury Square is comprised of hundreds of flats that pay relatively high ground rents and have many communal facilities . The square is partly reserved for pedestrians and includes an open public access way, though not only to the sky, thus being considered as a garden square rather than a green court or courtyard – the path has been briefly blocked off for better drainage to be made.
A group of buyers abandoned the project in 2009, so Arsenal sold 150 flats at a discount of 20% to brochure asking price. By 2010, Arsenal had paid off their conversion bill.
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